The impressive nature of the competition at this year’s UIAA Ice Climbing Continental Open series was demonstrated again during the second event of the season in Brno, Czech Republic. Such is the quality of the field, eleven different athletes have taken the twelve medals available.
A total of 107 athletes from 19 countries took part in the event organised by the Czech Mountaineering Association and held at the dry tooling structure at the Lokomotiva Brno Climbing Club. This represents a record for a UIAA continental level competition. Organizers also created both a fun and challenging event with athletes tackling ten different routes. For the first time, the Continental Open also included a dedicated youth component split across U20, U18 and U16 categories.
In the women’s competition, Olga Kosek from Poland is the only athlete to podium at both 2023-24 events. She followed up her silver medal in Slovakia with a repeat performance in Brno. Local advantage proved crucial with 23-year old Czech climber Aneta Louzecka taking gold. This is first medal since claiming speed gold at the World Cup in Cheongsong earlier this year. Switzerland’s Vivien Labarile, highly consistent last season, took bronze. Kosek (160 points) leads the overall standings with Louzecka (151) in second and last week’s winner Marianne van der Steen (147) in third place.
None of last week’s male medallists were able to make the podium in Brno. Following last week’s gold medal for Jorge Veiga Rodriguez, the Spanish team claimed a silver medal through Javier Cano Blázquez. Gold went to Switzerland with Benjamin Bosshard the only athlete to top the route. Bosshard had not featured in Round 1 in Zilina. The Swiss team went home with three medals in the senior competition with Jonathan Brown claiming bronze. Last weekend’s gold medallist William Morris of Great Britain leads the standings with 135 points, trailed by the two Spanish climbers, Rodriguez (134) and Blázquez (127).
Please follow the link below for a replay of the livestream.
In the youth competition, created as a means to allow more competitive opportunities and a clear pathways for climbers under the age of 20, the medals went to Switzerland (5), Great Britain (5), Spain (2), Czech Republic (1) and Slovakia (1).
One additional Continental Open will be held before the turn of the year. For the second time, Utrecht in the Netherlands will host an event. Action takes place on Saturday 16 December. Further details to follow.
Photos: UIAA/Pavel Nesvadba